09:06AM, Wednesday 04 September 2019
Maidenhead Royals withstood a late fightback from Woodley to win the Richard Bell Basketball tournament and secure the first trophy in the club’s history.
The Royals entered the tournament as huge underdogs but emerged as champions having announced themselves as one of the best sides in the area.
They started shakily, with a tight, tense match, beating the Crowthorne Aztecs in a dramatic shootout after the game ended in a draw. They then suffered their only defeat of the competition, losing to eventual finalists Woodley.
Shaken but not discouraged they bounced back to overcome Farnborough Phantoms, Bracknell Cobras and the Aztec’s second team to make it through to the final.
Their leaders Seppe Leysen, Karim Gaye and Daniel Weslowski really stepped up to the plate and the team then showed great resilience and mental strength to defeat a side they’d already lost to in the group stages,
The Royals led by nine points after the first quarter and, although Woodley managed to reduce that difference to only two points in the final quarter the Royals held on for a 50-46 win with forward Welcome Ndlovu scoring twice in the final 40 seconds to seal a dramatic win.
After the final club coach and MVP Daniel Weslowski said: “This is very big, big win for us. We’re a new team, but now everybody will know that we can play.
“I’m very happy with the guys and how we fought against much more experienced team from division one’’
The team are now focused on the upcoming season in Wessex League Division 3, which starts on October 7 with a home game against Bracknell Cobras at Windsor Girls School.
The Royals are still looking for new players to get involved/
Visit www.maidenheadbasketball.com or email Hardy Kapoor at email@example.com for more information.
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